‘Dramatic’ increase in opioid deaths continues in Maryland

WASHINGTON — The opioid crisis is taking a heavy toll in Maryland, where the latest numbers show a “dramatic” increase in the number of overdose deaths.

For the six-month period between January and June of this year, 1,029 Marylanders were lost to opioids. The number for the first half of 2010 was 244.

The big jump is attributed to fentanyl, carfentanil and the combination of cocaine with opioids.“We continue to see a dramatic increase in the number of overdose deaths connected to fentanyl, and the Maryland Department of Health is committed to building a continuum of care for those with substance use disorders,” said Health Secretary Dennis Schrader in a news release.

Since Gov. Larry Hogan declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, Maryland has made what it characterizes as “unprecedented investment” in prevention, treatment and recovery resources.

In fiscal 2018, more than $22 million is devoted to fighting the epidemic, with most of the money going to 24 Maryland localities and service providers for prevention, enforcement and treatment efforts statewide.

Marylanders who need help can visit MdDestinationRecovery.orgBeforeItsTooLateMD.org or call the 24/7 Maryland Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009.

The opioid crisis also has been declared a public health emergency in Virginia. Virginia residents can find help on the Drug Free Virginia website.

In the District of Columbia, prevention, treatment and recovery services can be found on the Department of Behavioral Health website.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up